Alex Dowsett says he knows he has it in him to regain cycling's hour record.
The 32-year-old confirmed on Tuesday that he will take on the hour record at the Manchester Velodrome on December 12.
Dowsett, a time trial specialist, broke the record in 2015 but has since seen his effort bettered by Bradley Wiggins and Victor Campanaerts.
However, the Israel Start-Up Nation rider told Eurosport's Orla Channouai that he finished his last attempt knowing that he could have gone further, and is confident that breaking Campanaerts' record is within his reach.
Alex Dowsett says he’s ‘fitter, lighter and more aero’ ahead of hour record attempt
Orla: You’re putting yourself through it all over again! Why? What are you doing differently this time around?
"Well, differently… I’ve got to go 2kms further this time around, that’s eight more times around the track," Dowsett said.
"I’m going for it again because it seemed like a good time to do it, sort of just after the Giro. Last time we spoke when I said that I was just stepping back into training because I wanted to, I couldn’t really tell you what I was actually doing.
Last time around was great, obviously I broke the record that stood at the time, but when I finished it I kind of learned a lot, and what I really learned was that I could have gone further. I found it incredibly frustrating to have put all that work in and then not really have gone as fast as I could.
"Because with an hour record you do have to be really disciplined with the pacing and the schedule, it’s very different from a time trial. So I’ve been wanting to see what I can do for a while.
"With Katusha it wasn’t possible because the team were really struggling and we were raced so much because the team was small and we lost a lot of riders, and it didn’t really fit. Movistar didn’t want to do it again because we broke it and had it and they didn’t want to risk not getting it… because it is a risk now. The benchmark that Bradley Wiggins and now Victor Campanaerts have set is high.
"But we did some tests earlier in the year and actually it is a doable, so we’re going to give it a nudge."
What is it that you’re working on this time around?
"Aero has gone up a level, mostly in skin suits and helmets. My position has improved by a bit, quite a bit actually. I did a lot of work with GB over the last two years to improve my TT position, which in turn is your hour record position.
I’m fitter, I’m definitely in a better place coming straight off the back of a Grand Tour. Last time around I was conscious of doing a lot of work on the track, and this year we realised that actually it’s not quite as crucial to spend as many hours on the track as I did last time. I’ve been doing a lot more work on the road and we’ll jump on the track in the last couple of weeks ahead of the attempt.
"And I’m a bit lighter as well. I piled on some timber for the last one because I didn’t think it mattered, so I’ve kept a bit of weight off.
Is this your second and last go? Are you going to keep breaking your own records?
"We’ll see how it goes first! There’s always the whole altitude element, what happens up there. But the tests I did were at sea level and we thought it was doable. Doing it at altitude requires a huge amount of preparation. I’d have to go and live up in Mexico, and South America at the moment with the Covid pandemic adds all sorts of complications.
"So we decided to do it at Manchester and do it kind of under British Cycling’s roof. It makes it a lot simpler to do.
I think what’s good is that we’re also using the hour record as a platform for haemophilia. It’s not something I talk about a lot, my haemophilia, because I consider myself a bike racer. But it is a message that we can sort of spread about having a rare condition, you can have a positive outlook and try and make the best of it, rather than letting it beat you.
"I think in terms of the haemophilia community, that idea of putting yourself out there and actually having a go whether you win or lose, that’s important. So we’re using the hour record as a platform for that.
"There haven’t been many attempts since Victor and Wiggins because the benchmark is so high now, so I think so many people are scared of failing. Of course I know that’s a possibility, but I think I can do it."